The construction sector has the capacity to take on more civil infrastructure projects and employ more workers, according to the Civil Contractors Federation’s (CCF) COVID-19 Member Survey.
The nationwide survey of the CCF’s construction company members was released to gather feedback and data on the impacts of COVID-19. It looked at issues such as the ability for companies to tender for more project and their likelihood to employ more workers.
CCF National Chief Executive Officer Chris Melham said the survey results demonstrate civil construction companies, particularly those operating at the tier 2, tier 3, and below have significant capacity to assist the Federal Government achieve its goals of supporting the economy and to keep people employed.
“The survey sends a powerful message to the Federal Government that the civil infrastructure sector is ready to lead the economic recovery if governments inject more money into the sector for new projects,” Melham said.
He has previously written to the Prime Minister recommending that he bring forward spending from the already committed 10-year $100 billion infrastructure spending.
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92 per cent of survey respondents advised they would have the capacity to tender for new projects up to $50 million if governments allocated funding for civil construction works.
In addition, 64 per cent of companies indicated they would need to employ additional workers if they were successful in tendering for additional projects. A further 29 per cent said they would consider employing more workers.
“It is important however that these projects are spread across as many tier 2, tier 3 and below companies across Australia to ensure widespread benefits can flow from any stimulus investment, particularly in rural and regional communities where infrastructure investment can deliver a significant multiplier effect to those local economies in the form of employment, training and community spending,” Melham said.
The CCF survey contains five recommendations for the Federal Government, these are as follows:
That the Federal Government increase the level of infrastructure investment in the immediate term by bringing forward its 10-year $100 billion infrastructure investment fund and by using debt funding to increase the level beyond $100 billion in the post COVID-19 period.
That additional project monies be allocated in a fair and equitable manner across all jurisdictions.
That the Federal Government develop and release a public agency supplier payment policy as a matter of urgency as a form of injecting cash into the civil construction supply chain by ensuring the immediate payment of all outstanding claims and prompt payment of all future claims.
That the Federal Government adopt a procurement policy that incorporates disaggregation of major projects to provide an opportunity for tier 2 companies to tender, for example, through joint venture arrangements.
That the Federal Government consider as a matter of urgency reforms to contracts and the procurement policy/process aimed at achieving a more balance approach to risk allocation and the development of collaborative
The CCF National has provided the survey results and recommendations to the Federal Government.